1. From MindArk AB
Well, spring is at the door, spilling brightness into the offices here at MindArk. Thommie's going to become a Dad any day, Marcos' quill is cocked and the programmers are busily piecing together the mechanics of the world's first virtual universe. Exciting stuff.
The support department is truly supporting now with 'round the clock attention to the needs of the Commercial Trial - the staff swelling in tandem with the growing needs of our users.
New members have also joined the PR team, solidifying our commitment to the various forums and communities as well as to regular news and updates at the Project Entropia site. Several projects are underway to maintain the momentum, including a revamping of this news publication in the very near future.
So, as I stroll through the bright, busy offices, coffee cup in hand, I make my way out through the electronic highways to open landscapes, adventure and new global friends. Calypso exists. let's have a closer look.
2. Commercial Trial
The Commercial Trial Phase is continuing with great success. Our five thousand testers are roaming a small part of one of Calypso's continents. They are exploring landscapes, hunting the creatures that roam them, searching for treasures, communicating, and trading information and equipment. Several suggestions have been made and we do of course consider them all. When they will be implemented is not yet decided, but they are on our list.
During April we will release our first Commercial Trial Phase patch, which will add further depth and content to the universe of Project Entropia. Some of these additions include a completely new way of doing business. A new resource management system will be implemented to enable the participants in the virtual universe to survey for mineral ores, and to refine these into metal bars. A handy player will be able to manufacture his or her own customized equipment, either to be used personally, or to be sold to the highest bidder. A lot more unique and rare items will also be incorporated into the world, together with more treasures to be discovered. More NPC's will also inhabit Calypso. There have been several sightings of increased creature activity out in the wilderness, and in the cities, new armor and weapon shops have opened. Finally, for the more hand-to-hand combat inclined, we have added a special surprise.
The work is moving forward at a tremendous speed, and all the breakthroughs and the positive feedback from our testers makes it all worthwhile. Project Entropia will be the next big thing. The world, both the real one, as well as the virtual, will never be the same again.
The new and improved FAQ has been posted on the Project Entropia website. It answers more than 100 of the most frequently asked questions about PE. Take the time to read it through. And as more questions come in, they will be added to the FAQ. We also have a new poll up and running, asking you where you heard about us. Be sure to vote! And it is now possible to tell which region and country a person is located in, in the Community Section.
We have made some slight changes and fixed some bugs since the last Global News was published. Some of the areas we have done the work in are in the Community Section and in the Forum. We have also been correcting all the misspelled words and grammatical errors that were reported to us. We want to create the best possible product for everyone.
We will implement more information on Infobooth 3.0 as soon as possible. In fact, we are putting up a schedule for ourselves so we can implement these changes on a continuing basis. The areas we are working on are screenshots, world information, frequently asked questions.among other things. For example, with screenshots, we are aiming at posting a new one every week so interested gamers can see the quality of graphics within PE.
Check out the InfoBooth at www.project-entropia.com
4. Development News
Programmers here at MindArk have been hard at work on the April Patch (CT Patch 1), which is to be applied to the Project Entropia Commercial Trial Phase version. Here are the latest developments.
* There will be no more "white screen" on start-up if desktop resolution is less than 1024x768.
* Game crashes in apartments have been eliminated.
* There is no longer erratic cursor behavior that was occurring after ALT+TAB was used.
* There is improved performance within cities.
* We have added support for refresh rates other than 60 Hz.
* Sound experience is now distorted while you are moving underwater.
* Players can now survey lands checking for mineral ore deposits. When it is found, the player can claim the site and exploit it or sell the deed to others.
* When players control a resource site, they can excavate in order to extract mineral ore from the mine.
* The metal ore extracted can be refined into metal ingots.
* Players with the needed ingots may construct customized armor.
* The number of creatures roaming around Calypso has increased by 20 per cent. Beware!
* Several of the rivers have gotten deeper.
* Several 8-bit textures have been upgraded to 24-bit counter-parts.
* Armor and weapon shops have been implemented in Hadesheim and other cities.
* Much more ambience and sounds have been implemented.
* There are several new items included in shops, Trade Terminals and the loot from defeated opponents.
* The armor system is now completely re-balanced.
* We have increased the amount of treasure sites in the world. Happy hunting!
* A new category of weapons called the 'Powerfists' has been added.
* The terminology around dead creatures has been updated.
* You now must strike at a target, not just thin air, to gain experience and weapon skills
5. Meet the MindArk Employee
Here is the section of Global News where we would like to introduce you to a member of the MindArk team. Today we meet.. Kajsa Högberg.
GN: First of all, how old are you? The answer is optional!
KH: I am 39.
GN: Where are you from?
KH: Right here in Gothenburg.
GN: What do you do here at MindArk?
KH: I am a World Creator.
GN: What is that exactly?
KH: Mostly, I work with the high field and textures in the world editor, adding all sorts of vegetation and placing them, including the cities.
GN: How long have you worked here?
KH: For three years.
GN: How does it feel to be a woman working in a male-dominated computer field?
KH: Never been better.
GN: Are you a gamer?
KH: No, not really. I know when I start I can't stop so mostly I keep away from it.
GN: Sweden.is it more than just blondes and meatballs?
KH: Sure.we have a lot to offer. Why not come and see for yourself?